• An Introductory Lesson On The Extended 2-5 Chord Progression

    in Chords & Progressions,Contemporary Music,Experienced players,General Music,Gospel music,Piano,Theory

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    I’m very certain you’re coming across the extended 2-5 chord progression for the first time.

    Yes! You might have heard the progression we’re about to cover several times, but definitely NOT the term extended 2-5 chord progression and this is because it’s a new term coined by me.

    Truth be told: the extended 2-5 chord progression has NOT been given the attention it deserves and that’s because of the lack of term to describe it.

    Today we’ll be exploring the extended 2-5 chord progression: a long-established progression in popular music styles like Gospel and R &B.

    But before we do so, let’s go ahead and review the 2-5 chord progression.

    A Quick Review On The 2-5 Chord Progression

    The chord movement from the second tone of the scale to the fifth tone of the scale in a major (or minor) key produces the 2-5 chord progression.

    The numbers (2 and 5) are used because of the tones of the scale involved.

    In the key of C major:

    …the second tone is D:

    …while the fifth tone is G:

    So, a 2-5 chord progression will progress from D to G:

    The 2 (which is D):

    …to the 5 (which is G):

    Using the chords for each of the bass notes, we’ll have the D minor chord progressing to the G major chord:

    The 2-chord:

    The 5-chord:

    …and that’s the 2-5 chord progression.

    Introducing: The Extended 2-5 Chord Progression

    The extended 2-5 chord progression is just another way to play the 2-5 chord progression with spicier chords and chromatically descending bass notes.

    Keep these two elements in mind:

    1. Spicier chords
    2. Chromatically descending bass notes

    Let’s go ahead and cover these two elements; starting from the bass notes.

    Chromatically Descending Bass Notes

    Instead of moving from the 2 to the 5 in the major key — which is like moving from D to G in the of C major — you can descend chromatically from the 2 (which is D):

    Attention: Moving chromatically simply means moving in half-steps; so, for every movement, we’ll be progressing to the note that is just a half-step away.

    A half-step below D:

    …is C#:

    …and another half-step below C# is C:

    …and the next half-step below C is B:

    We could descend chromatically more and more, but we’re stopping at B:

    ..and here’s why:

    B:

    …is the third tone of the 5-chord (G major triad):

    …and that’s our target chord.

    So, we’re starting on the root of the 2-chord (which is D):

    …and descending chromatically to the third tone of the 5-chord (which is B):

    …and that’s four bass notes altogether:

    D:

    C#:

    C:

    B:

    Now that we’ve figured out the bass notes for the left hand, let’s go ahead and learn the chords they can be played with, on the right hand.

    Spicier Chords

    I’ll give you two approaches to the extended 2-5 chord progression.

    “Check Out The First Approach Using Triads…”

    For the D bass note:

    …we have the D minor chord (second inversion):

    For the C# bass note:

    …play the A major chord (root position):

    For the C bass note:

    …revert to the D minor chord (second inversion):

    Then for the B bass note:

    …play the G major chord (first inversion):

    Attention: Kindly note that this is jut an example and that you can use any other inversion other than the ones given.

    “Let’s Use Seventh Chords To Spice It Up A Lot More…”

    For the D bass note:

    …play the D minor seventh chord (second inversion):

    For the C# bass note:

    …play the A major chord (root position):

    For the C bass note:

    …revert to the D minor seventh chord (second inversion):

    Then for the B bass note:

    …play the G sus2 chord:

    Putting It Together

    You remember the Hymn To God Be The Glory by AndraĆ© Crouch where there are three consecutive lines of “To God Be The Glory” right?

    To God be the Glory
    To God be the Glory
    To God be the Glory
    For the things he has done

    The extended 2-5 chord progression can be applied in the second line:

    To God (D):

    (C#)…:

    …be the

    …Glo (C):

    …ry (B):

    …and that’s just one of the inexhaustible applications of the extended 2-5 chord progression.

    Final Words

    Getting to this point lets me know that you’re serious about the extended 2-5 chord progression.

    Trust me, we’re just getting started with this study and in subsequent lessons where I’ll be sharing a lot more with you, we’ll go beyond the surface into other areas of this study like the implied 2-5 chord progression.

    All the best and see you in the next lesson.

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    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as the head of education, music consultant, and chief content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with hundreds of thousands of musicians across the world.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.




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